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Aston Villa: Lange will regret missing out on Craig Dawson

Aston Villa sparked some life back into their season with a credible 1-1 draw against Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday evening, and they possibly could have secured all three points if it wasn’t for a controversial VAR call that ruled out a sumptuous strike from Philippe Coutinho.

The positive is the result stops the rot slightly and gives Steven Gerrard knowledge that his team should be doing far better than what their current league position indicates.

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Although it wasn’t a surprise conceding a goal to Man City, the result means Villa have let in at least one goal in every single match they have played this season and this will surely be a big cause for concern for the 42-year-old going forward.

The injury to Diego Carlos against Everton a few weeks ago was a massive blow, and the club urgently sought a replacement, with Jan Bednarek arriving from Southampton on loan. It was perhaps a move for another Premier League defender not materialising, however, that could come back to haunt Gerrard.

Transfer blunder over Craig Dawson

Johan Lange was looking to bring Dawson to the club as cover for the injured Carlos, but after reportedly submitting a late bid for his services, a move didn’t happen and this is one that could have big implications.

The West Ham United defender would have slotted in with ease to the Villa backline, especially with his top-flight experience and he might even have been a better option to call upon than that of the injury-stricken Tyrone Mings.

First and foremost, the 32-year-old scored more than Mings last season, with two goals compared to one for the Villa centre-back, proving he could chip in with a few goals and help the side out. Indeed, Dawson has shown throughout his career just what a threat he is in the opposition penalty area, scoring 51 times throughout his senior career. For context, Mings has only beaten the goalkeeper on eight occasions.

Should Aston Villa have signed Craig Dawson?





Defensively, Dawson is also more imperious and much more convincing at the heart of defence. A late bloomer, he certainly works harder and looks more assured in the tackle, producing a greater success rate with pressures (33.7% to 32.5%), making more tackles per match (0.9 to 0.6), and losing possession fewer times compared to his Villa counterpart (7.8 to 10.3 per match) last season.

Dawson also displays a greater level of maturity, being cautioned only four times in 34 matches, although he did receive one red card, whereas Mings was booked a worrying 11 times in his 36 matches last season.

These stats show that Dawson could well have been the ideal player to replace Carlos, and even take over from Mings at the heart of the Villa defence.

Duncan Wright dubbed him as “immense” just last year, explaining that he should be in the mix for a spot in the England squad, and thus, losing out on the £42.5k-per-week defender might be a big error in judgment from Lange.